“Jalan” continues to be a talking point week after week. Starring Minal Khan, Areeba Habib, Emmad Irfani, Fahad Sheikh and Hajra Yamin in lead roles, the story focuses on two sisters fighting over the same man. Episode 17 opens with Misha (Areeba Habib) still in a state of depression. It seems as though some thoughts are running through her head as she picks up the phone to call Ahmer (Fahad Sheikh) to apologize. She ends up speaking to Areej (Hajra Yamin) instead, who informs her that she’s his wife and he’s out of town. Leaving a message with Areej to apologize to Ahmer for her, it comes across as though Minu is saying final goodbyes. Asfandyar (Emmad Irfani) and Nisha (Minal Khan) are planning their wedding, much to the horror of Kinza (Nadya Hussain). On the other end, Misha is suffering through her postpartum depression coupled with the shock of what has become of her life – and who better to hammer the final nail in the coffin but Nisha? Nisha leaves Minu a very mean-spirited voice message, laced with fake sweetness, inviting Minu to her wedding with Asfand. She also throws in, for good measure, that Minu’s son is not welcome. Minu is grieving for herself, of course, but she’s also grieving the loss of her child’s family unit, the fact that her son will not have the love of his father. With her mental state completely out of sorts, Minu throws petrol on herself and sets herself on fire in the kitchen. What’s curious about this scene is that it’s much different than what was expected. In the promo last week, it seemed Minu ran out into oncoming traffic in the street with her mother watching while, in this episode, the setting of fire is only implied by Minu staring at the bottle of petrol. Was this scene rewritten? And if so, for what reason?
Misha’s parents, played by Mohammad Ahmed and Sajida Syed, are in a state of despair at the hospital, warding off questions by both family members and policemen regarding the circumstances surrounding Misha’s condition. When a visibly distraught Kinza arrives, they lash out at her and Kinza takes the brunt of their frustration. This is understandable, because while Kinza cares for Minu and means well, Minu’s parents no longer want anything to do with Asfandyar and Nisha – and Kinza is a reminder of what has happened to their daughter.
Ahmer and Areej have been put on the backburner and two characters which should have been given a prominent growth graph are now just playing supporting background roles. Ahmer gets the message from Areej about Misha and this is the first scene in a while where viewers can see Ahmer softening as he wonders why Misha called – and why she would call to apologize? Hajra Yamin and Fahad Sheikh both deserve better as actors and their roles are not receiving the deserving attention.
At this point in the story, it’s not clear if Nisha is a aware of what happened to her sister, though Asfandyar is aware – and clearly does not care. Would Nisha care? It’s interesting to see those involved with the show discussing it, because they refer to the overall issue as “jealousy.” Is this jealousy that pushes a sister to treat her own blood like an insect to be squashed? It’s not. To make this character realistic and understandable, there must be a mental illness involved – and yet, there’s no mention of that issue either on-screen or off-screen. Coming back to Minu, it’s a relief that her character was not killed off, but what will her recovery look like? How badly was she burned? Viewers only want to see a happy ending for Minu. Hopefully she will get it. There isn’t much to discuss in terms of performances this week, though Nadya Hussain, Sajida Syed and Mohammad Ahmed are the star performers in this episode, making viewers feel for their characters. In the preview for next week’s episode, we see Ahmer calling Minu’s family. Hopefully this will prompt his return to Pakistan and put him back at the center of the story.